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Full Version: Had Britain already left the empire in 408 AD?
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Nicasie refers to a letter ( new to me) from Honorius dated c 408 addressing " universes militibus nostris, Seniores ( Nicasie translates as veterans) , Iuniores, speculatoribus, ac Britannicis." I've put a full version of the letter below, most recently published by Sivan in 1985.

If the letter covers all the classes, it seems to say" to all our soldiers- Seniores units, Iuniores units, scouts , and British."

To me this implies that British forces were already separate?? And that Britain had split earlier from Rome than 410AD(always a dodgy date...)

Full text here:-


Incipit sacra Honorii imperatoris quam de Roma detulit militie urbis Pampilonensis cum
Sauiniano patricio quidem tempore erede prelatus in spaniam profectus est ob infestatione
diuersarum gentium barbarorum:
Honorius imperatur glosus perpetuus triumfator semper augustus, uniuersis militibus nostris,
senioribus, iunioribus, speculatoribus ac Britanicis, gaudentes sanctissimi comilitones nostri
conmunium remuneratione meritorum, et omnes iuxta exultatione gaudentes. His enim maxime
est splendor inluxtris qui pari cunctus luce perfudit. Ad quos nos magnifice comites hac magistri
utriusque militie ad similitudine nostre clementie constituti. Constituta sit uobis stipendia
gallicanarum, que constitutioni uestre porreximus ut eundem uir esset forma uirtutis quibus
exellens una deuocio est. Proinde instructissimi in eque nobis cuncta subdita sunt. In Spania et
amplica congruum et dignitatis augmentum que serenitas nostra aurias prestiterit usibus gratanter
agnoscimus. Ut ubi uiuendi degendique tempus extiterit, omni alacritate atque uirtute abeatis
ospitüs obsequamini qua propter fore quidem confidimus et numeris resolutis incitet potius quam
restinguat ardorem. Obtumus conmilitones nostros per multos annos uene agere. Et alia manu:
Bene ualete. Amen.
Quote:Nicasie refers to a letter ( new to me) from Honorius dated c 408 addressing " universes militibus nostris, Seniores ( Nicasie translates as veterans) , Iuniores, speculatoribus, ac Britannicis." I've put a full version of the letter below, most recently published by Sivan in 1985.
Full reference? Page in Nicasie, note, original source?
Does this thread belong under Rules and Announcements?
no but I don't care Tongue
In 408 weren't the British supporting usurpers vying with Honorius for power? As followers of a rebellion, it would certainly be appropriate for Honorius to address them directly in the hope of regaining their loyalty and cutting off the support they were giving to Constantine III. I would suggest that, as Constantine III wasn't executed until 411 and there were also other usurpers in Gaul at this time, this entry doesn't mean the British thought of themselves as being apart from the empire: simply as not supporting Honorius in Ravenna.

Mind you, I could be wrong! :oops:

PS I agree with Robert: full references please! Smile
Quote:
Caballo post=294494 Wrote:Nicasie refers to a letter ( new to me) from Honorius dated c 408 addressing " universes militibus nostris, Seniores ( Nicasie translates as veterans) , Iuniores, speculatoribus, ac Britannicis." I've put a full version of the letter below, most recently published by Sivan in 1985.
Full reference? Page in Nicasie, note, original source?

The page in Nicasie is p.29. The reference is to H.S. Sivan, "An unedited letter of the Emperor Honorius to the Spanish soldiers", ZPE 61 (1985), 273-287.
Would this not then be a reference to the British troops stationed there during the reign of Constatine III?

If I remember correctly hadn't this British usurper - who was now recognised by Honorius - dispatched troops into Hispania and seized the cousins of Honorius and had them executed? This was in 408, I think. This was under Gerontius and Constans (Constantine III's son.) The latter returned to his father's capital at Arelate but Gerontius remained in Hispania. He later revolted against Constantine III by raising another to the purple after the Germannic tribes breached the mountain passes into Hispania.

The letter, dated 408 ad, would refer then to Roman troops in Hispania - both the loyal ones and the ones under command of the usurping Constantne III. He was only formally recognised in 409 ad.

Britain rebelled against Constantine III in 409 ad, a a year later, I think!
Hi Paul,

Even IF the letter could be dated to 408, that need not have meant that Britain had left the empire, only that there were forces in Spain referred to as ‘British’. See below.

However, Kulikowski was of the opinion that the letter couldn't possibly be dated to 408, because of
the 'infestatione barbarorum' mentioned in the heading, while Spain was free of
barbarians in those years.

The article plus the text according to Kulikowski (including the versions by Jones and Sivan) can be read here:

Kulikowski, Michael (1998): The Epistula Honorii, again, in: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, vol. 122, pp. 247–252 [PDF] at: http://www.uni-koeln.de/phil-fak/ifa/zpe...122247.pdf


Hi Francis,

Quote: Would this not then be a reference to the British troops stationed there during the reign of Constantine III?
If I remember correctly hadn't this British usurper - who was now recognised by Honorius - dispatched troops into Hispania and seized the cousins of Honorius and had them executed? This was in 408, I think. This was under Gerontius and Constans (Constantine III's son.) The latter returned to his father's capital at Arelate but Gerontius remained in Hispania. He later revolted against Constantine III by raising another to the purple after the Germanic tribes breached the mountain passes into Hispania.
The letter, dated 408 ad, would refer then to Roman troops in Hispania - both the loyal ones and the ones under command of the usurping Constantine III. He was only formally recognised in 409 ad.
Possible, IF the letter indeed refers to a situation in 408 (above, Kulikowski). The British troops had already reached Spain in 408 (Constantine sent Gerontius there after May), so that could indeed be the troops addressed.

Actually, the passes into Spain were not breeched – Gerontius or Constantine had foolishly removed the troops guarding them.

Quote: Britain rebelled against Constantine III in 409 ad, a year later, I think!
Now that is opening a can of worms! Zosimus’ very brief statement actually leaves a lot of room for interpretation: a rebellion for Honorius, against Constabntius III, or even against all things Roman. Wink
Ho Robert

Thanks for the pdf which neatly dissects the difficulties of that letter. It is a shame, as Kulikowski points out, that no further light can be shed due the nature of the text. Cry